Last one, I promise

Last sunrise video, that is – I’ll have just a couple more beach trip photos after this…

pre-sunrise beach scene showing just a few tiny clouds down on the horizon
I came loaded for everything on this trip, especially video, which I’ve been trying to tackle more often; naturally, there weren’t a lot of subjects that benefited from video. But there was one that I was really trying to get…

The last morning there, the conditions looked promising again, with only a couple of tiny clouds down on the horizon, as seen above. Unfortunately, they were right about where the sun was supposed to appear. While I was using a compass app and knew what bearing the sun was to break the horizon, this isn’t precise enough for perfect accuracy, giving a region that’s wider than the field of view of the 600mm lens; a smutphone app is not exactly a surveyors’ transit, you know? The best thing to do is to watch the horizon for the brightest glow, which generally provides a great indication of just where the sun will appear.

pre-sunrise telephoto shot showing people against the horizon and sunrays from below
Looking at the rays and shadows against the sky, the sun looks almost perfectly aligned in the gap between the clouds. Meanwhile, some people much further up the beach were outlined nicely, and I started wondering if I’d get a sun smack on the horizon with someone right in front of it, which can be enormously hard to arrange. Where I was, the beach and waterline pointed over to the left of where the sun would appear, but it made a slight curve to the right in the distance and permitted this alignment, which I was unaware of until that morning. Using the edge of a building (cropped from the frame on the left,) I could do a semi-accurate estimate of the distance involved, which is somewhere in the vicinity of 1.7 kilometers, or a little over a mile – not too shabby, really.

person at 1.7 km distance seen in some detail But wait! Let’s take a full-res gander at that one person.

Perhaps a little softness from imperfect focus, or perhaps it’s atmospheric distortion, but there’s still enough resolution to determine that they’re wearing dark shorts and a blue shirt/sweater/jacket. I’m impressed – I wasn’t expecting any such detail, especially silhouetted against the brighter sky like that.

Though let’s not forget that the sun does not rise straight up, but at an angle to the right (in the northern hemisphere, anyway…)

Ah, well, I did what I could. Very little luck was with us this trip, but that’s the way it goes. If you noticed something odd sticking up out of the ocean when the camera jerked sideways, though, that was a fishing trawler, just slightly out of view over the horizon.

We’re going to return to that one person, though, after I switched memory cards.

person pn horizon appearing to shoot enormous sun above them
Those raised arms certainly make it look like they’re shooting the sun with their phone, given how often this occurs anyway. But it’s a trick of perspective, because to aim at the sun, they’d have to be facing the same way that I am, back completely to me, since the sun is still 150 gigameters away – though they’re closer than I am. From the looks of things, the sun might not even be within their frame, but granted, smutphones tends to be wide-angle by default. Still, I like this image, and won’t be in a hurry to correct misconceptions…

pair of adult semipalmated plovers Charadrius semipalmatus in flight
On a previous day, I got a few frames of the semipalmated plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus) in flight, showing off their wing markings. The ‘semipalmated’ bit refers to their feet, which are partially webbed to help them in soft mud, where they like to feed, but I have yet to get an adequate perspective to photograph this; one day. They also have great calls in flight, but the Cornell page doesn’t have recordings of it, and didn’t even mention their ‘tapping’ behavior – I had to find that through the Audubon page.

Like I said, there’s a handful more beach photos on the way, and then I’ll have flogged this trip to death and won’t have any more posts. Until the next trip…

trio of adult semipalmated plovers Charadrius semipalmatus in flight